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Finding the Right Path In Life – Jesus

Sandy PathJesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father except through me.” I remember a Bible college professor paraphrasing what Jesus meant with these lines:

I am the Way… walk Me.
I am the Truth… know Me.
I am the Life… live Me.

Jesus, paraphrased by Dr. Jesse Thomas

I love that! I wrote last week about getting off the wrong path, but that can never be the end of the story. To jettison ourselves from any path, we need a new path to follow, and for the believer in Christ, that path is the person of Jesus Christ.

In other words, it’s not just about doing all the right things instead of doing the wrong things. It’s about being involved with the right Person, Jesus. He is the right path. When we walk “in Christ,” and we’re coming to know Christ, and we’re living as Jesus lived, we’re guaranteed to be on the right path.

So how do you find and walk the right path, the path that is Jesus?

  1. Trust Him. Once and for all, completely trust Him as your one and only Savior.
  2. Hear Him. Get to know His voice through His Word.
  3. Talk to Him as you live, as you walk, and as you do life.
  4. Follow His example, emulate His character, and imitate His behaviors.
  5. Serve Him, by serving others in His name.

Here’s hoping you find the right path, that you fully commit to trusting, hearing, knowing, following, and serving Jesus!

Photo by jwtwel.

Getting Off the Wrong Path

Danger. Wrong Way. Turn Back.

You are where you are because you have followed a path. You’ve made a series of choices that have brought you to your current spot on life’s map, and the Bible lets us know that our default direction is always down the wrong path.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:6 ESV

There is a path before each person that seems right,
but it ends in death.

Proverbs 14:12 NLT

We often wonder, how did I end up so unhealthy, so broke, so alone? Obviously there are times when circumstances are beyond our control, but often we have landed in our current situation because of the decisions we’ve made. So what do you do when you realize you’re on the wrong path?

Turn around.

By the way, have you "liked" Grace Hills Church on Facebook yet?

The Bible word for turning around is repentance and to repent means to change the mind – to do a 180, forsaking our sin and trusting in Jesus. You have never traveled so far down the wrong path that God’s grace is unable to draw you into His will again! Your emotions may tell you otherwise, but if God was finished with you then you wouldn’t be reading this article right now.

So switch. The Bible makes it clear that too few people will heed this advice.

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Matthew 7:13-14 NLT

Need help figuring out how to express repentance to God? Think through this prayer and speak from your own heart to God in similar fashion…

Dear God, I realize I’ve been living apart from you, following my own path. I’ve sinned and deserve to be separated from You forever because of it. But I also know that Jesus Christ died for me on the cross, paying the penalty of my sins, and I receive Him today as my Savior. I want to turn from my sin and follow You, Lord. I want to begin walking the right path today.

If you’ve prayed to repent of sin and receive Jesus just now, or if you have questions about this decision, please let me know!

Note: This series of articles is based on some truths I’ve learned while reading Andy Stanley’s book, The Principle of the Path, an excellent read!

Enjoying the Favor of God

Favor of GodYesterday, I talked about defining the favor of God, and I defined it as enjoying the undeserved kindness of God. I also said you can spot the favor of God when you see that He has sovereignly chosen to bless something or someone for the purpose of bringing Himself glory. His favor is never for our enjoyment alone – it is always intended to be shared with others.

In the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Gabriel comes to deliver the message that the Holy Spirit would conceive His Son in her virgin womb, and that He was to be called Jesus. Astounding! Impossible! After the angel explained that nothing is impossible with God, Mary reacts, and there’s a HUGE lesson in her response…

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

~ Luke 1:38 NLT

Did you catch that? Mary was humble and highly favored as a recipient of God’s gracious gift. But she was also confident and even enthusiastic about what God wanted to do in her life. This is a point at which I see a significant divergence in Mary’s attitude and the average believer today.

We’re afraid of being confident before God. We’re afraid of being enthusiastic about what He wants to do. Why?

  • People will think I’m prideful.
  • I’ve failed God too much.
  • I’m not worthy of His using me.
  • Somebody else is better equipped.

And on go our lists of excuses. Most center around a false understanding of why He values us. God doesn’t assign value to us on the basis of our past performance but rather on the purchase of our lives made by Jesus on the cross. Because we are redeemed, He wants to use us to change the world. And our other excuses tend to revolve around what other people will think.

Mary, on the other hand, teaches us a different lesson. She replies to Gabriel, “May everything you have said about me come true!” In other words, “I want it! I want it all! Use me to the fullest extent possible, God, because that’s why I’m here to begin with! I’m yours!

It isn’t a prideful or arrogant thing to desire the favor of God on our lives. Instead, it’s a recognition of God’s eternal purposes for me, and it’s also a recognition that God is big and powerful enough to use even me. And it’s also a matter of submission to a God who has sovereignly chosen to use redeemed, imperfect people to accomplish His greatest missions.

Enjoying the favor of God shouldn’t be about wanting more stuff or striving for mere personal comfort and pleasure. Instead, it should be about accepting our assigned role in His kingdom work.

If you’re refusing to accept the benefit of God’s favor out of a false sense of humility, get over yourself (false humility is really self-centered pride anyway), stop holding up the mission, and receive the assigned blessing God has for you so that He can be all the more glorified in your life.

This is an imperative… enjoy the favor of God for His name’s sake!

Photo by abstract duck

4 Keys to Preparing to Do God’s Will for Your Life

Maps, Maps, Maps

In John 17:4, Jesus makes an astounding statement in His conversation with His Father, “I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do.” (NLT) That’s a claim that none of us can ever make. Jesus did everything the Father had given Him to do.

What is success? The world defines it as achieving great things, making a good living, or generally finding happiness on earth. But God defines success in this way: doing everything God tells you to do. In other words, success is simply fulfilling the will of God for your life – nothing less, and nothing more.

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